Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Read The News Today

Oh boy....

I got three words in, just after the name and the word, dies and then things went all swimmy. Eyes flooded and heart broken I clicked away and several links before walking away from my laptop, pillowy soft shreds of new carpet licking the bottoms of my bare feet as I shifted from side to side in front of the dusty bookcase that takes up nearly an entire wall in my living room. Head cocked, tears still streaming I reached for the one place I knew I could hear your voice soothing me....

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.  

The first time I ever felt beautiful, when I read these words. You taught me to see myself, to see others, for each little perfect imperfection, lovely lines of laughter, scars that prove we fought, and won. Your grace, strength, intellect, courage and astounding talent made me want, more than anything, to write. There are no words Beautiful Soul....

Thank you Maya Angelou, I am forever in your debt. 

Rest In Peace.  


webb said...

A huge loss. She had phenomenal gifts that she shared so willingly with us all. RIP

Samantha Dugan said...

Some of her work was so formative for me, at certain times her work came to me at just the right time, (which happens with Dave Matthews too in fact) and in that way she was one of the most nurturing women in my life, even though we never met. Her voice was one of power and strength with an unapologetic sorrow in places that showed a human, very female, side that inspired how I wanted my voice heard. She will be missed by so many but I just wanted some of you to know what she meant to me....

Dale Dimas said...

As always, your words capture the moment and the momentousness, if you will. Things I wish I could say as well. Thank you for commemorating her.

This is one poem that I can read and hear her, because I believe I HEARD this one before reading it.


Winey The Elder said...

Gangly, ugly, frightened eighth grader stumbled on her words, meant for a woman, it seemed, but taken to this heart as universal truth. Years of carefully considering her diction, poise and eloquence, meant for a woman, it seemed, but taken to this heart as universal truth. The power of words, which you intimately know, to bring solace, to elicit grace, to heal, it's what I loved about Dr. Angelou and what I am most grateful for. That, and this not-what-the-world-would-call-beautiful lady taught us that what-the-world-would-call is not the marker of our beauty, we cannot give them that power, that power belongs to us. Taken by this heart as universal truth.

My grief lightened by your words, I thank you Ms. Dugan.

Thomas said...


Samantha Dugan said...

I think I picked that poem to read yesterday both because it was such an important piece for me, and because I can literally hear her saying each word and nearly feel her taking deep satisfied breaths in between. Phenomenal Woman and And Still I Rise both drip with her voice. Thank you for the sweet things you always seem to end up saying.

Awe Love, somehow I knew that tender and open heart of yours would be both responsive to the kind of touch Maya possessed and feeling the break from having to say goodbye. I find it so moving that as a young man you were gentle enough to be moved by her...says a lot about both of you. Thank you for sharing yourself here, with me.


Thomas said...


Maybe Awomen is better...

ogbari zomon said...
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